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Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Hitchens’

Four Playwrights Win Whiting Writers’ Awards

The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation has given $50,000 to ten promising writers for the 2012 Whiting Writers’ Awards. In a new record for the awards, four playwrights received awards.

We’ve included the complete list of recipients below, along with the foundation’s short biography for each winner and links to free samples of some writers.  In addition, three fiction writers, two poets, and a nonfiction writer also won.  Follow this link to read the keynote address by Jeffrey Eugenides. Here’s an excerpt:

In his 1988 book of essays, “Prepared for the Worst,” Christopher Hitchens recalled a bit of advice given him by the South African Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. “A serious person should try to write posthumously,” Hitchens said, going on to explain: “By that I took her to mean that one should compose as if the usual constraints––of fashion, commerce, self-censorship, public and perhaps especially intellectual opinion––did not operate.” Hitchens’s untimely death last year, at the age of 62, has thrown this remark into relief, pressing upon those of us who persist in writing the uncomfortable truth that anything we’re working on has the potential to be published posthumously; that death might not be far off, and that, given this disturbing reality, we might pay attention to it.

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Mediabistro Course

Nonfiction Book Proposal

Nonfiction Book ProposalStarting September 4,work with a literary agent to complete a full proposal that wins an agent and a contract! Ryan Harbage from The Fischer-Harbage Agency, Inc. will teach you how to convey your idea in a winning book proposal format, write your proposal letter, understand the nuts and bolts of the nonfiction book industry, and more. Register now! 

Christopher Hitchens Lighters at Vanity Fair Party

Every guest at the exclusive Vanity Fair Oscar party last weekend received an unexpected souvenir: a Zippo lighter engraved with a quote from the late Christopher Hitchens. We’ve embedded an image above–has anybody seen one of these lighters in the wild?

UPDATE: Slate Book Review spotted the quote in the photograph: “Everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly where I think it should, in most cases, remain.” Hitchens died last December after a battle with cancer, but his work lives on in many corners of the Internet.

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Christopher Hitchens’ Final Vanity Fair Essay

Today Vanity Fair published Christopher Hitchens‘ final essay for the magazine, an inspiring tribute to Charles Dickens.

The journalist and author passed away last month after a battle with cancer. If Hitchens’ tribute to a great author inspires you to read some books, follow this link to download free eBooks from Charles Dickens.

Here’s an excerpt: “It is all there to emphasize the one central and polar and critical point that Dickens wishes to enjoin on us all: whatever you do—hang on to your childhood! He was true to this in his fashion, both in ways that delight me and in ways that do not. He loved the idea of a birthday celebration, being lavish about it, reminding people that they were once unborn and are now launched. This is bighearted, and we might all do a bit more of it.”

Christopher Hitchens Has Died

hitchens.pngThe great essayist and journalist Christopher Hitchens has passed away. The 62-year-old author wrote a number of books, including God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, and Hitch-22: A Memoir.

Vanity Fair published an eulogy for the author, centered on his recent work: “in the last 12 months, he produced for this magazine a piece on U.S.-Pakistani relations in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, a portrait of Joan Didion, an essay on the Private Eye retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a prediction about the future of democracy in Egypt, a meditation on the legacy of progressivism in Wisconsin, and a series of frank, graceful, and exquisitely written essays in which he chronicled the physical and spiritual effects of his disease.”

Years before joining GalleyCat, this editor was lucky enough to meet the author and record a story about Hitchens’ life as a young writer. Skip to the 25-second mark of the video link to listen to his story. Earlier this year, Hitchens gave a challenging reading list to an 8-year-old girl–an inspiring legacy from the late writer.

Christopher Hitchens Creates Reading List for 8-Year-Old Girl

hitchens.pngLast month at the Texas Freethought Convention, author Christopher Hitchens spent 15 minutes creating a reading list for an eight-year-old girl named Mason Crumpacker.

For your weekend reading pleasure, Chron.com collected the books on the reading list: “Dawkins’ Magic of Reality, Greek and Roman myths, particularly those compiled by Robert Graves, anything satirical by Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (author of Infidel and Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations), PG Wodehouse (“for fun”), David Hume, and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.”

Suzie Harmon photographed the moment. Crumpacker’s mother wrote into the Why Evolution Is True blog to explain what happen and how the event thrust her daughter into the media spotlight.

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Christopher Hitchens Postpones Book Tour for Chemotherapy

hitchens.pngJournalist and author Christopher Hitchens had canceled many events on his book tour recently, generating a round of speculative blog posts.

At Vanity Fair, the author provided his reason: “I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice.”

Earlier this year, we wrote about Hitchens’ speech for the PEN World Voices festival, as the great author urged Americans not to be stalled by terrorist threats: “Somebody told me this evening that perhaps attendance was down at this event because of an attempted atrocity in Times Square. If that was true, I would both be depressed and I would take it as an opportunity to align what I want to talk about…the contagion of fear.” (Via Sarah Weinman)

Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie in Conversation

One afternoon after a botched bombing attempt in Times Square, Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie–two writers who have served as lightening rods for intellectual controversy and extremist anger–concluded the PEN World Voices Festival with a conversation about tyranny’s effect on writers.

PEN filmed the event, but you can get a sneak peek at the proceedings in the GalleyCat video embedded above. Hitchens opened the annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture by urging Americans not to be stalled by terrorist threats: “Somebody told me this evening that perhaps attendance was down at this event because of an attempted atrocity in Times Square. If that was true, I would both be depressed and I would take it as an opportunity to align what I want to talk about…the contagion of fear.”

The two writers discussed the impact of the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s fatwa–a religious death sentence issued against the novelist in 1989. During a conversation with Hitchens after the lecture, Rushdie reminded the audience that he was still alive while Khomeini had died. “Don’t mess with novelists!” laughed Rushdie.

Christopher Hitchens Replaces Sherman Alexie at PEN World Voices Festival

Yesterday the PEN World Voices Festival announced that journalist, essayist and author Christopher Hitchens will deliver the fifth annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture–replacing Sherman Alexie at the last minute.

Here’s more about the event: “Mr. Hitchens will speak on ‘Crucibles: Past and Present’ followed by a conversation with PEN World Voices Festival Chair, Salman Rushdie. Mr. Hitchens replaces Sherman Alexie who was previously scheduled.”

GalleyCat will be there, covering the lecture tomorrow evening. If you want a taste of Hitchen’s intense oration style, check out that controversial clip embedded above from a televised Intelligence Squared debate. Caution: this clip contains strong opinions about organized religion.

Jon Stewart to Introduce Condoleezza Rice at BookExpo America

9780446691864_154X233.jpgBookExpo America (BEA) has today announced that Jon Stewart will make an encore BookExpo America performance–serving as master of ceremonies at the Author Breakfast on Thursday, May 27. In a crazy political pairing, the host of The Daily Show will introduce memoirist and politician Condoleezza Rice.

According to the Grand Central webpage, the host’s book The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book) will be published in September. Stewart first hosted the BEA breakfast in 2004. Among other big guests at the two-day fair are: Cory Doctorow, William Gibson, John Grisham, Sara Gruen, Christopher Hitchens, Patton Oswalt, and Mary Roach.

Event Director Steven Rosato had this statement: “We are incredibly fortunate to have these authors assembled at our show and I know that will be a great draw for BEA and will ensure that these events will sell out. Above all, I am thankful to the publishers who support us, and who bring their authors to BEA so that we might all enjoy meeting them, and hearing what they have to say. It’s a very unique and special opportunity for anyone who is part of the book industry and who attends BEA.”

The complete release is embedded below.

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Mediaite Ranks the Authors

christopher_hitchens_x200.jpgThis week every blog, newspaper, and media website in the city scrutinized the brand-new site, Mediaite.

Today’s Morning Media Menu featured the site’s senior editor Glynnis MacNicol and TV editor Steve Krakauer, talking about Michael Jackson‘s memorial service, Sarah Palin‘s resignation, and the site’s popular and controversial Power Grid.

GalleyCat took a look at the fledgling site’s book coverage, finding a story about Joe Scarborough’s bestselling book and the Power Grid’s rankings for authors like Thomas Friedman, Michelle Malkin, and Christopher Hitchens (pictured, via) in a scientific popularity contest.

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